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NASCAR Cup Series Playoff drivers have a lot on the line in Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. After the race, the Playoff field will be trimmed from 12 competitors to eight.
Three drivers at the bottom of the Playoff standings—Christopher Bell, William Byron, and Alex Bowman—bring a win-or-bust mentality to the 2.28-mile, 17-turn Roval. Winning is almost surely the only way for them to advance to the Round of 8.
Sunday’s race will be contested over 109 laps (252.88 miles), with stage breaks scheduled after 25 and 50 laps. Reigning series champion Chase Elliott has won the last two events at the Roval.
Odds from DraftKings sportsbook.
Chase Elliott to win (+220)
Chase Elliott’s NASCAR Cup Series title defense is in jeopardy. Entering Sunday’s Round of 12 elimination race at the Charlotte Roval, Elliott is just nine points above the current cut line, tied with Kyle Busch for the last two transfer spots.
Fortunately for Elliott, the elimination race takes place at arguably his best track—the 2.28-mile, 17-turn infield/oval combination at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Elliott has won the last two races at the Roval. Not only that—his mastery of the road courses in the Cup Series is unparalleled in recent years. Seven of Elliott’s 13 career victories have come on tracks that feature right turns as well as left.
Given that Elliott is squarely on the Playoff bubble, just nine points ahead of his arch-nemesis, Kevin Harvick, Elliott could use a third straight win at the Roval.
We think he gets it on Sunday. DraftKings Sportsbook offers the defending series champion at +220, and we’re inclined to go with the favorite.
The NASCAR Cup Series is heading for a road course this weekend, and that must mean AJ Allmendinger is pulling double duty.
Indeed, Allmendinger is racing in both the Xfinity Series, where he’s competing for the championship, and the Cup Series, where he’s moonlighting for the fifth time this season.
What we can’t understand is why Allmendinger isn’t rated more favorably by DraftKings Sportsbook. He’s listed at +1600 to win, +600 to finish in the top three, and +260 to run top-five.
In four previous Cup starts this season—all on road courses—Allmendinger has scored two top fives, including a victory at the Indianapolis Road Course, and an additional top 10 (seventh at the Daytona Road Course, which features a configuration similar to that of the Roval).
While we don’t think Allmendinger’s No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet has the raw speed to compete with the Hendrick cars of Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, we think he’s definitely worth a bet to run top-three or top-five.
Our advice is to bet both options—and you can thank us on Sunday night.
The oddsmakers must have forgotten how good a road racer Kurt Busch is. His odds at the Roval are insanely long, but they’re a real gift to the astute bettor.
Busch is posted at +2800 to win via DraftKings Sportsbook, and—let’s face it—that’s not a likely outcome for a driver already eliminated from the Playoff, especially when he’s going up against seemingly invincible Chase Elliott.
But at +950 to finish in the top three and +400 to run top-five, the driver of the No. 1 Chip Ganassi racing Chevrolet is well worth a couple of bets.
Consider that Busch has finished in the top five in two of the three Cup races held on the Roval, including a fourth-place run in last year’s Playoff race. He was also fourth earlier this year at the aforementioned Daytona Road Course.
So show Kurt some love this weekend, even though the handicappers haven’t.
|Race||Bank of America Roval 400 NASCAR Cup Series race|
|Location||Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course|
|Time||Sunday, October 10, 2 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||NBC|
Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]More info on Reid Spencer
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